Justin Trudeau as Liberal leader would inject energy into Canadian politics

Justin Trudeau threw his hat into the Federal Liberal leadership race and I for one hope he wins but not because I support the Liberals.

Justin Trudeau threw his hat into the Federal Liberal leadership race and I for one hope he wins.

Not because I’m a hardcore supporter of the Liberal party but I think the son of Pierre is just what this country needs.

Justin, who gained attention for his heartfelt eulogy at his father’s funeral in 2000, might not be the most seasoned of politicians as he is only 40 years of age and was only elected to parliament in 2008 as MP for the Papineau riding of Montreal.

He can be viewed as a “legacy” politician, given that his father was one of the most well-known prime ministers in Canadian history and he doesn’t always act as a politician should act – there can be fights in politics but Trudeau literally fought in a boxing match against Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, albeit for charity, earlier this year.

In 2011, he referred to Environment Minister Peter Kent as a piece of (dung) during question period in the House of Commons.

Still, Justin Trudeau is exactly what the Canadian political landscape needs, someone for young voters to look towards.

He has been referred to as a “rock star” and that could capture the imagination of and galvanize some young voters, a demographic that has been sorely lacking in past federal elections.

In the 2011 election, reports indicate that 38.8 per cent of voters aged 18 to 24 years hit the polling stations and only 37.4 per cent did so in 2008.

Today’s youth might not be able to relate to  Stephen Harper but a scrappy Trudeau is someone that might catch their attention.

Down south, there does seem to be a relation between politicians winning the presidency and pop culture.

Bill Clinton was charismatic but some credit an appearance on the Arsenio Hall late-night talk show – where Clinton played the saxophone – for helping him become president in 1993.

Barack Obama made some appearances on comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live before becoming president of the United States in 2008.

The new federal Liberal leader has not been decided yet and there still is a lot that Justin Trudeau has to learn, if he indeed is the next leader and if he wins, politics will be much more interesting.

– Karl Yu is editor of the Grand Forks Gazette

Grand Forks Gazette